Tag: Allyship

Activities that support being an ally, allies, advocacy, sponsorship, endorsement.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: How to change the culture of ableism in academe

We are all aware of various accommodations that our campuses have made to respond to the needs of those with disabilities, such as ramps into our buildings; signage in Braille in the elevators; wheelchair sections in our classrooms; and accessibility requirements for webpages and learning management systems. Still, students, staff and faculty with more visible and less visible disabilities frequently encounter ableism, which refers to beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with disabilities. Recently, Nature has featured the experiences of several scientists who face specific challenges in navigating academia, including a lip-reading ecologist, a graduate student with PTSD, and a nuclear physicist on crutches. They offer advice for how colleagues can be allies such as making small changes in communication methods when needed and not dismissing their requests for accommodations.

Additional guidance is offered in an Inside Higher Ed post about how to write reference letters for colleagues and students with disabilities, including not outing someone’s disability without their permission, not discussing how accommodations “fix” the disability, and not creating “inspiration porn” about the person with the disability. Taken together, these articles prompt us to update our assumptions, professional practices, and campus facilities to normalize and support accommodations for people with disabilities.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the Advance team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup. The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Recommendations for LGBTQ+ Inclusivity

Creating more inclusive academic communities and making equity and diversity hallmarks of campus culture are lofty goals. What are the actual practices that can make such goals concrete features of university life? A recent essay in CBE-Life Sciences Education makes the case that inclusivity requires thoughtful, proactive strategies. Specifically, the authors advance fourteen actionable recommendations for creating more inclusive academic relationships and environments for LGBTQ+ individuals in the life sciences. The recommendations provide strategies for inclusive practices in the classroom, on campus, in research spaces, and at conferences. They address issues of language, naming assumptions and alternatives, a variety of practical advocacy actions, teaching activities and materials, and research design and protocols. These recommendations are meant to stimulate further discussion, recognizing the ongoing need to adapt normative expectations and commonplace practices in order to create productive, inclusive academic spaces and communities.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Allyship for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging

A critical component of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging (DEIS) is deep and meaningful collaboration that enacts allyship. This is a cooperative model whereby people from diverse backgrounds, especially those with power and privilege, join together in solidarity to overcome systems that disadvantage some groups, including unlearning assumptions about what constitutes “help” – particularly the kind that reinforces unwanted power structures.

One research article that explores this point is “Male allyship in institutional STEMM gender equity initiatives.” The article centers on men’s self-understanding as “champions for change,” the barriers and risks of this paradigm, and evolving perceptions among participants in the program. The concept of men as “champions” in gender-equity programs is not uncommon, and one such program is “Male Champions of Change.”

Initially, study participants tended to perceive “champions” as an empowering term that encouraged men’s involvement in social justice work. However, by the second year, participants began to perceive  “the gendered positioning of male championship is at odds with gender equity and structural change.” Rather, DEIS is about all of us and we all gain when we remove barriers to equity, including terms and concepts like “champions.” 

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE Advocates team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Putting yourself in another person’s position: understanding colleagues with disabilities

Although navigating life through a pandemic has been difficult, ever wonder what navigating life with disabilities is like? Want to support colleagues with different abilities, but felt uncomfortable asking how?  This article contains five questions answered by those with physical, cognitive, or mental disabilities as they navigate daily life.  The article highlights the pressures disabled individuals experience as they navigate mobility challenges in the world around them, respond to ableism, and share the impact of the disability on their daily existence. The article speaks to a person’s internal debate in seeking assistance and accommodations when needed. Lastly, stereotypes of “hard work” and “toughness” are addressed, which may be incorrectly related to “overcoming” the disability with the tradeoffs from stamina used for visible acknowledgement versus useful achievements.

Additional resource on ways to dismantle barriers for disabled faculty on campus.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.
The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Largest-ever survey exposes career obstacles for LGBTQ scientists

LGBTQ scientists experience career-damaging harassment according to the largest-ever survey recently published in AAAS’s Science Advances and featured in Nature.  The study of thousands of US-based researchers finds that those from sexual and gender minorities are more likely to experience workplace prejudice and harassment, fewer career opportunities and fewer resources.  Further, LGBTQ individuals experience greater stress from work leading to health problems, depressive symptoms, and insomnia. Help change this pattern! Advocate for institutional measures to address harassment. Please become an ally able to recognize and reduce these effects on talented colleagues and students by attending Safe Place (or Safe Zone) educational sessions.  

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.
The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

A&A Session for Chairs/Unit Leaders

During Academic Forum on Wednesday, it was mentioned that the ombudsperson talks to ~2 faculty per week.  This rate is consistent with results from Michigan Tech’s Work, Live, Learn Survey which found that 31.6% of women disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that they felt supported and mentored during the tenure-track years or the 22.4% who don’t feel valued by their department chair/school dean.  I know each of you care about your faculty so these findings are disturbing.  


Crafting positive climates so that everyone is valued and feels part of a supportive team relies upon broad engagement of all faculty in a unit and the chair can help influence this.  That is why ADVANCE has adapted the Advocates & Allies program to offer a learning environment led by peers.  As a Department Chair, have you been concerned about your unit’s community and cohesiveness over the last year?  Have you wondered about interactions between your faculty in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion? or related to the University Senate’s Proposal 41-21?  


Research has revealed that retention of faculty is closely coupled with how included individuals feel and that attracting new faculty is closely coupled with how well systems ensure equity is embraced within a unit.  Our diversity counts illustrate that Michigan Tech is one of the least diverse campuses in the nation (second resource here).  All of this can be intimidating, but the NSF ADVANCE effort on campus would like to help with a one-hour educational session from the Advocates & Allies (A&A) program.   A&A sessions provide the data and research, starting from the beginning, that enables individuals to gain perspectives and help them become allies for the success and inclusion of non-majority individuals. 


THIS EVENT WAS POSTPONED. Through a department chairs only session, we’d like you to preview this program and consider inviting us to present to your department.  This session will be presented by our Advocates Team in coordination with the ADVANCE Academy for Responsive Leadership.  Please RSVP  and join us on Wednesday, March 31st from 4 to 5.

THIS EVENT WAS POSTPONED. When: Mar 31, 2021 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register in advance for this meeting:https://michigantech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdumqqj8jEtKTYYe0ArOPrzgqPUpuUOuE  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

December 4, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Are you ready to be an ally for equity in higher education? Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education focusing on ways Black academics believe their white colleagues can better support them within their units and across campus. Use today’s resources as a launchpad but be sure to simultaneously have regular conversations with underrepresented individuals to ensure your allyship is best positioned as an effective partnership.

For example, while we all know that hard work is requisite for success in academia, not everyone recognizes that underrepresented minorities often face an even heavier work burden in order to be successful. As a double whammy, perceptions of the value of contributions are not equitable either. Simply confronting these inequities is one place where allyship can be critical.

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

May 15, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Microaggressions, often stemming from implicit bias, may not always be recognized by the aggressor. When microaggressions are not addressed appropriately, they perpetuate, harm individuals, and become increasingly ignored. To prevent this, it is important to know how and when to step up and address microaggressions. This week’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup introduces the R.A.V.E.N. framework for responding to microaggressions. Please take the time to read, analyze, and adopt the R.A.V.E.N. framework so you are prepared to address microaggressions and improve our campus climate so that everyone can excel. 

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Contact us to learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, or to check out our growing collection of resources. (advance-mtu@mtu.edu, website: www.mtu.edu/advance).